G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

For Just Kicking Dust or the Sheer Joy of it?

For all the wrong reasons, Indian cricket seems to be in the news (this week- "Graham Ford on Monday announced that he has declined an offer to coach the Indian cricket team"). I wonder if we have long forgot the joy of cricket. Times of India covers the game on front page and sports page. I wonder if they realize cricket should also make it to “The Speaking Tree” –its column on spiritual matters.

Sample this:

“……It said a great deal for Smith that he did not allow the misfortune to throw him off balance. Bowling more carefully, he delivered the rest of the over to the order. Five balls went down, each of them swinging into the batsman. Three of them Troughton was able to leave alone, as they swung across his body and down the leg side, making Deacon leap and stretch to stop them from going for byes. True, Troughton played carefully, once going right up on his toes to bring the ball down on to the pitch in front of him with the straightest of the bats, dropping his wrists and slackening the fingers round the bat handle. The seventh, aimed straight at the middle stump had Troughton driving across the line trying to work it away to mid-wicket. It moved off the pitch again, but this time in the other direction, touching the outside edge of the bat as it went and winging its way chest high to Gauvinier at first slip- a straightforward, finger-tingling slip catch. He flung the ball high in delight- for himself, for Norman, for the ball, for the catch, for the score and for the sheer joy of cricket”
(John ParkerThe Village Cricket Match”(1977) from cricket anthology “The Joy of Cricket” Selected and Edited by John Bright-Holmes)

During world cup 2007, Ian Chappell was asked why cricketers throw up the ball when they catch it (because few mess it up by dropping it in the process!). Person as erudite as Chappell could not quite answer it. He should have just said – “for the sheer joy of cricket!”.

Or read this Browning-ian envoi

“…Time stood still in a distillation of delight. People and place and circumstances gave visual representation of a meaning, a conception, an ideal. Cricket was itself again and all was well with my world” (From “Thanks to Cricket” (1972) by J M Kilburn)

Are we still capable of enjoying these subtle almost spiritual features of cricket or we just enjoy “kicking dust”?

Cricket resembles more and more to Hindi cinema: a lot of "kicking dust" about its personalities and very little about its quality of music, acting, story, direction, dialogues, songs etc.


“Calvin and Hobbes” by Bill Watterson printed Asian Age June 13, 2007